No matter what we do, no matter how much success we achieve, this struggle is real and affects every man.
There are all kinds of emotions and feelings every guy struggles with on a daily basis. Some of these we feel comfortable telling friends, family, or loved ones about. Others, we battle within our minds and bodies. You could look on our face and see someone who appears “happy” but inside, we’re dying. Inside of us is a daily struggle that threatens to derail anything we want to accomplish in life.
I’ve fought this battle since I was 17-years-old. I didn’t grow up rich. I didn’t grow up with any lucky breaks. At 17, I had to leave home and was homeless for six months. Every day I slept with one eye open worried about the cast of characters that wouldn’t hesitate to hurt me on the streets of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
I had to survive. I did get off the streets and met an amazing woman who would become my wife. I got an excellent job at Pepsi Cola that paid $55,000 a year as an 18-year-old. We got a place together; we bought all the toys we wanted. We had a happy honeymoon phase of our marriage, but the internal struggle still continued.
Flash forward to today. In the last three years, I’ve lost 170 pounds, I quit a job I hated, and I moved our family to our dream destination of Maui, Hawaii. I wake up every day living my dream life, yet the internal battle is even stronger. The battle I’m referring to, and one every faces every day, is the feeling of Not Being Enough.
Here are some areas that guys don’t feel like they’re enough:
Not feeling like a good enough father. Parenting is complicated and rarely goes as planned. There are more days than we can count where we feel like a failure as a father. We tell our self we’ll be more present for our children, and that we’ll listen and play with them more, but work or life happens. There are situations that may or may not be out of our control that keeps us from honoring the type of parent we want to be. Cheer up, dads. If you’re reading this, it means you’re still alive and still have a chance to make a change. Take it one day at a time.
Not feeling like a good enough partner. Relationships take work to grow. Many relationships today don’t stand the test of time and struggle. When our relationship is bad, we feel like it’s our fault. We keep the struggle of not being good enough inside of us. It has an unintended effect on our relationship because we’re not communicating with our love. The best thing we can do is get real with our partner. Be brutally honest and ask for support. If they don’t have your back, it might be time to move on.
Not feeling like a “strong” enough man. Life throws so much at us, and we experience what seems like more failure than success. Often, circumstances break us down, and we don’t feel strong enough to overcome them. It can be a divorce, a financial setback, problems with children, or difficulties at work. No matter what you’re going through, know that you can overcome how you feel right now. You ARE strong enough if you choose to be.
Not feeling like you’re living a good enough life. “Good enough” will have a different meaning for every man. For a lot of us, we long to live a life of freedom. We strive to live life on our terms, spending our time doing the things that are important to us. If you don’t feel like you’re living a good life, do something about it. Don’t settle because life is too short and time is one resource we can’t get back.
Guys, you are more than enough. Don’t let this internal battle keep you stuck. Past circumstances may have beaten you down, but there can be a light at the end of the tunnel. Whatever happens next will be your choice. You can decide whether you’ll truly live of simply exist.
It won’t be easy, and it may take time, but you can live life on your terms. You can live your dream life if you beat any self-limiting beliefs and take action. Get honest with yourself and then those you love. Don’t let this battle be a lifelong struggle. Start the process to heal and change, today.
Photo: Flickr/ Alex Proimos